Miner 49er: 49 Facts About Manic Miner

Miner 49er or better known as Manic Miner, is one of the ZX Spectrums more well known games and rightfully so. The game is simple but a true gem in the ZX Spectrum’s library of games. Anyhow, here’s 49 things you may or may not know about the classic game. 


  1. It was orginally released by Bug-Byte software in 1983Manic_Miner_Screenshot
  2. It was developed By a man called Matthew Smith who also made the game ‘Jet Set Willy’
  3. Manic Miner is the first game in the ‘Miner Willy’ series of games
  4. It was officially ported to 10 different home computers and video game systems although it was orginally for the ZX Spectrum
  5. It is also avaialable to play on mobile phones
  6. It is regarded as a game with high replay value
  7. The Bug-Byte cheat code was the numerical sequence “6031769” – based on Matthew Smith’s driving licence
  8. It was the first game on the ZX Spectrum to include in game music
  9. The music that plays during the title screen is an arrangement of The Blue Danube
  10. The game was inspired by the Atari 800 game ‘Miner 2049er’
  11. The game was published by Software Projects later in 1983
  12. It was also published by Amsoft in 1985
  13. The game did unfortunately did not have joystick support on the ZX spectrum
  14. Manic Miner is a platform game
  15. Manic Miner was placed at number 25 in the “Your Sinclair official top 100” Spectrum games of all time
  16. There is a fan unofficial ZX81 version of the game
  17. The game was placed third in “Game of the Year 1983”
  18. Many unofficial ports, sequels and spin-offs of the game exist
  19. The game’s protagonist is called ‘Miner Willy’
  20. The game has an animated title screen that took advantage of the ZX Spectrum allowing background and foreground colours to be exchanged automatically without software attention
  21. You begin the game with 3 lives
  22. The in-game music is a take on ‘In the hall of the mountain king’ by Edvard Grieg
  23. There are 20 levels within the game
  24. Enemies in the game include ‘Poisonous Pansies, Spiders, Slime and Manic Mining robots’
  25. The 1997 version of the game has been completed in exactly 10 minutes
  26. The whole game is set underground, with the objective of the game to make it to the surface
  27. The player gains an extra life every 10000 points
  28. In each cavern, there are flashing objects Willy must obtain and take to the exit before his air supply runs out
  29. Willy can also die by falling from too great of a height
  30. The colourful graphics were well designed for the ZX spectrum’s graphical limitations.
  31. It was the winner of a Golden Joystick Award for best arcade style game by Computer and Video Game magazine in the March 1983 edition
  32. Unofficial ports of the game can be found on the Nintendo 64 and Sony Playstation as well as many more computers and video game consoles
  33. The games sequels are Jet Set Willy, followed by Jet Set Willy 2
  34. ‘The Perils of Willy’ is a game released in the style of Manic Miner but for the Vic-20 computer
  35. The games cheat code was changed to ‘typewriter’ in the Software Projects version of the game
  36. A homage to the loading screen was featured in the 2005 British sitcom ‘Nathan Barley’
  37. When you have gathered all the items in one cavern, the exit begins to flash
  38. Manic Miner is a 48K game
  39. The game is single player
  40. Manic Miner can be played online in your interenet browser right now!
  41. Theres is some differences in the enemies sprites between the bug-byte software and Software Projects version of the game
  42. The Bug-Byte version of the game has 2 different tape covers
  43. Each level in the name is known as a cavern and all caverns in the game have their own name and layout
  44. The iconic first level in the game is called the central cavern
  45. The final level in the game features the only building in the game which appears to be a farm house with a tractor
  46. The games orginal price was £5.95
  47. An unofficial sequel to the game known as Manic Miner 2 does exist however it is more or less an exact clone of the original game
  48. Manic Miner is less commonly refered to as ‘Miner 49er’
  49. Manic Miner is regarded as one of the best ZX Spectrum games ever made


Watch RZX Archives playthrough of the game:


Watch the 1997 version of the game be beaten in 10 minutes by ArtinEmil:


The ZX Spectrum Vega is available to order at www.funstockretro.co.uk and you can save an additional 5% on your order by using the discount code ‘NEWS5’